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Alaskans are making a strong presence at the annual Boston Seafood Show going on this week. Stopping by to check in with them for a second year is Alaska’s junior senator, Mark Begich. He took a few minutes yesterday to also check in with KMXT, live from the convention floor.

As of lunchtime Monday, Begich had yet to run across Aqua Bounty at the convention. They are the company which hopes to bring genetically engineered farmed salmon to American markets.

He noted that last week the supermarket chain Whole Foods announced it will require all genetically engineered, or “G-E,” foods to carry a label identifying it as such. Currently, the Food and Drug Administration does not require such labeling, and if Aqua Bounty’s salmon is approved, it will be the first meat product allowed to be sold to the public.

The National Weather Service Employees Organization is pleased to announce its endorsement of Mark Begich for Senator of Alaska.

“Senator Begich strongly supports the lifesaving mission of the NWS to protect the people who work and live in Alaska,” said NWSEO President Dan Sobien.

Senator Begich, as chairman of the Senate oceans subcommittee overseeing NOAA, pushed the agency to work with the Interagency Working Group for Alaska, a consortium of federal agencies organized by President Obama to work together to streamline permitting for oil and gas development in the Arctic.

The sparring over whether U.S. Sen. Mark Begich was correct in his assertions last week that the Parnell administration and some legislators seek to suppress Native voting may foreshadow a larger battle in the 2014 election.

That conflict would follow a story line of the 2012 presidential election: Did some Republican-governed states attempt to place roadblocks in front of traditional Democratic voters, such as the elderly and minorities, to tip the field in favor of Mitt Romney? That question ended up in several courts before the November election and was seized as an issue by President Barack Obama’s supporters.

Pioneer Mary Joyce was inducted into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame last week, according to Michael Ward, manager of the Taku Glacier Lodge.

Joyce was a Southeast Alaska entrepreneur and adventurer during the 1930s until her death in 1976. In 1935, Joyce successfully completed a 1,000-mile, three-month solo sled dog trek from the Taku Lodge, south of Juneau, to Fairbanks that earned her a place in Alaskan history, and the Taku Lodge a designated place on the National Registry of Historic Places.

In his address to the ALaska Legislature on Monday, Senator Mark Begich spoke to the ALaskan Lawmakers on issues such as education and gun rights, but also spoke about the trend in Alaska as well as around the country to make voting more difficult.

During that address, Begich pointed out that House Bill 3 would make it increasingly difficult for Natives and other minority groups to vote. He said in his address, “Let’s be honest, there is not a problem here, unless I missed it in all the elections I’ve been involved, ” said Begich of House Bill 3, which would require Alaska voters to produce at least one form of picture I.D. at the polls. “I haven’t seen all the fraud people are talking about.”

Juneau’s Chamber of Commerce warmed its new offices at the Huna Totem Building with Alaskan Amber beer, Abby’s Kitchen hors d’oeuvres and a chance to grill Alaska U.S. Senator Mark Begich.

“We love our new space. We love our new landlords,” Cathie Roemmich Juneau Chamber CEO, said as she introduced Sen. Begich.

Begich presented a letter of recognition to local caterer Abby’s Kitchen & Catering.

“For a business that has lasted five years and an entrepreneur who has done a good job,” Begich said.

“I know what it is like to own and operate a small business. The threshold of small business is when you make it to five years,” Begich said. “That is a very good sign. That means the odds are with you now.”

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich on Monday called on the Parnell administration and state lawmakers to make strong commitments to education, give greater support for children’s health insurance and eliminate any obstacles to voting.

The Democrat also used his address to a joint session of Alaska Legislature to express his support for targeted federal spending cuts and his belief that with new faces in Washington there are new opportunities to push for issues important to Alaska. He also encouraged the state to take up creation of an Arctic port authority and put up $2 billion to support $3 billion in federal loan guarantees as part of a bill he’s introduced to speed Arctic port development.

Alaskan Sen. and member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee Mark Begich outlined a piece of legislation to provide more funding for rural community development, including new affordable housing.

The Rural Educator and American Community Housing Act will provide $50 million in affordable housing assistance that will be used to build homes or improve living conditions for educators, public safety officers and medical providers working in rural communities. Sen. Begich noted that the lack of sufficient housing has been a contributing factor to the low retention rates of public servants, and said the bill is designed to help attract more teachers, police officers and health providers.

Federal Sequestration is scheduled to take into affect Friday March, 1st. We spoke recently to U.S. Senator Mark Begich, Alaska’s lone congressional democrat about what’s going on in the nation’s capital.

Sen. Begich(D-AK): “This is not a complicated problem, it just means that people have to make decisions. And that’s whats really becoming problematic for some, because they don’t want to make these tough calls. I think again, Congressman Young’s approach, and at least some of us on the senate side have approached it. It’s going to be a combination of things, there’s a right way to go about this. At the end of the day, we have to cut wasteful programs, we have to reduce the spending, at the same times we need to have the right revenue streams, to get out of this multi-generational debt that’s been created. So there’s tough decisions, but we’ll have our way though it, and we’ll make it work.”

Neither rain nor snow could deter Homer area residents from attending a town hall meeting with Sen. Mark Begich on Sunday. More than 100 people crowded into the commons of Kachemak Bay Campus, Kenai Peninsula College-University of Alaska Anchorage, to listen to the senator’s comments and to ask questions.

Homer Mayor Beth Wythe introduced Begich, noting his five years of service to the state and his focus on “building a strong economy for Alaska.” Begich serves on the U.S. Senate committees on Appropriations; Veterans’ Affairs; Indian Affairs; Commerce, Science and Transportation; Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; and the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard.